Being For The Benefit Of Paramount Kites
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 26
The Beauty Salon

   Holly spun around in her rotating chair as she waited for Barbara, her hairstylist, to put more red highlights in her hair. They were beginning to fade. Frowning at her almost brown tips, she picked up an old People magazine and began flipping through the pages. In the seat next to her, Palma was getting her hair cut real short. A guy with spiky black hair and black makeup snipped away at her blond hair.
"Are you sure you wanna do this?" Jen asked, getting her nails done with Dominique on the other side of the store.
 "Yes," Palma said. "I want to have an edgy rocker chick look."
Holly smiled. Palma had the facial structure for a short hairdo. She looked like she could be one of those foreign models.
"It looks cute so far," Holly offered. "Are you getting pink tips too?"
"Yep," Palma nodded, but was told to hold still by the guy cutting her hair.
Holly nodded and continued to read her magazine. She had so much on her mind. There was a party later that night, her ex-boyfriend wouldn't stop sending her text messages, and Maris was acting weird again. She thought it was because her impending boyfriend Lucas was flirting with other girls. Whatever the problem was, it was getting to Maris.
 Just then, Reese and Maris skidded into the beauty salon. An old lady in a wheelchair looked at them as if they were crazy. Maris smiled an apology as she glided across the room towards Holly. She slid in the chair next to her and crossed her legs.
"Um, miss?" a young redheaded lady said to her, her arms crossed. "That seat is for paying customers."
Maris rolled her eyes and hopped out of the seat.
"Sorry," she said curtly.
The woman gave her a long hard look before walking away.
Maris sighed. "People are so rude."
"I know." Palma whispered. "That woman was a bitch!"
 Holly was used to coming across rude people. Everywhere her and her friends went, there was always some adult scolding them for something minor. It was generally because they were either too loud or not doing anything productive. Holly looked down at her cellphone. Another text message from Peter. Not even bothering to read it, she deleted the message. She wanted to block him, but she didn't have the heart to.
"I hope he's not getting obsessive." Reese said, looking down at Holly's phone. "He's cool and all, but why does he keep texting you?"
  Holly agreed with Reese. All this time Peter had been ignoring Holly, but now that she broke up with him all he did was try to talk to her. Holly was confused.
"Who knows." she shrugged.
Reese messed with her hair in the mirror for a little while before asking a short blond woman to wax her eyebrows. The woman led her over to the sinks and beckoned Reese to sit in one of the chairs.
   Finally, Barbara came over to Holly's section with a huge smile on her face. She was a short brunette with a pageboy bob. She was no older than twenty-three. Her and Holly had known each other since Holly was eleven. She had been doing her hair for years.
"So what are we doing today, Holly?" she asked, cupping Holly's soft hair in her hands.
"My highlights are starting to fade so I need new ones." Holly said, showing Barbara  her pale red highlights.
Barbara nodded and opened one of the drawers. She took out a comb and began to run it through Holly's hair. 
 Holly set back and enjoyed the feeling of Barbara combing her hair. So many things were happening. She couldn't stop thinking about Peter and it was obvious he couldn't stop thinking about her either. She looked out the glass door and saw people passing by the shop. They all looked so happy and problem-free. Unlike her. She needed someone to make her life fun and exciting. Someone who was funny and knew how to make things interesting. Someone who was fun to be around with.
Where is Andy when you need him? She thought.
     When they left the beauty shop, the girls walked around downtown for a little while. They browsed through the boutiques and almost stopped inside a store that sold designer sunglasses. None of them had the money to buy them. Holly shielded her eyes with her hands as the sun hit her face. It was warmer than the other day, but it was still a little breezy.
Elisha walked a little bit too close to Holly and Holly gave her a look.
"Please?" she asked, taking Elisha's aviators off of her face.
Elisha tilted her lips as if to say "Oh, shucks! Aren't I just the worst?".
"You wanna walk by the river?" Maris asked. "It's a nice day for it."
Holly loved going by the river. There was so much memories there. When her dad used to take her and her siblings there for picnic and events. Where she witnessed her first wedding and boat race. Where she nearly fell over the boat when her dad took her on a boating trip.
"Let's do it." she said, smiling.
  Palma jumped up and down with eagerness. Her new cropped hairstyle looked amazing on her with her Kiss tank-top and multicolored skirt. Holly admired the pink tips in her hair. She was worried Palma might come out looking like a boy, but she didn't.
"I love the river!" she said. "It's so perfect and peaceful!"
"Isn't that where the Kite Race is going to be held at?" asked Jen, tossing a coin into the wishing well as they passed a row of Victorian townhomes.
"Hey, doesn't Savannah live there?" she added.
Holly shrugged. She'd never been invited to Savannah's house so she wouldn't know.
"I've been over there before with Davey." Jen continued. "I think she does."
"Well, let's invite her along." Palma said, kicking a pebble with her red ballet flats.
They turned to the street where it had a side that said Est. Abbey Rd.
 Holly knocked on house 1962. A middle-aged woman who looked like Savannah stepped out. Her hair was short and she was bespectacled.
"Can I help you girls?" the woman asked.
"Yes," Holly began, "is Savannah home?"
The woman shook her head sympathetically. "I'm afraid not. She's hanging out with her other friends today."
Holly's face fell. "Oh, that's okay. Have a nice day."
"You, too." the woman said, smiling at the girls.
She looked like she'd never seen friends of Savannah before.
 "Well, that sucks." Holly said, walking down the steps. "This would have been super fun with Savannah."
Elisha shrugged. "We'll see her tonight at Tamara's party."
Holly smiled. That was a plus. She liked hanging out with Savannah. Savannah always brought a smile to people's face. About month ago she didn't know who Savannah was. Now things didn't seem the same without her.


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